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Funds Available to Improve the Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking

Among the 19 discretionary grant programs administered by the Office on Violence Against Women, the Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking (ICJR) Grant Program is the only one that focuses on the role law enforcement, prosecutors, and the courts play in making much needed systemic change in the justice system in response to domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking.

All of the programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and subsequent legislation are designed to develop the nation’s capacity to reduce gender-based violence by strengthening services for victims and holding offenders accountable.  The ICJR program encourages partnerships between state, local and tribal governments, courts, victim service providers, coalitions, and rape crisis centers to ensure that sexual assault, domestic  and dating violence, and stalking are treated as serious violations of criminal law. This program provides resources for communities to implement long held best practices in responding to violence against women, provide discipline-specific and multi-disciplinary training, and develop innovations in their criminal and civil justice systems’ responses to these crimes. 

One example of how ICJR funding was used is North Carolina’s improved accessibility to services. By allowing victims of domestic violence to apply for protective orders from a sheltered facility, the state made a process safer and much easier to access. The improvement made orders accessible to all members of law enforcement statewide in real time to strengthen enforcement of those orders. The state saw a significant reduction in the number of hours spent processing civil domestic violence documents using a system that was improved with the DOJ funding.

OVW is now accepting applications for FY 2021 ICJR grants, so I encourage people who work in or with the criminal justice system to apply for ICJR funding before the March 31 deadline.

The eligible applicants are states and territories, units of local government, Tribal governments, state, local, Tribal and territorial courts, victim service providers, state and Tribal coalitions, and governmental rape crisis centers.

OVW is raising awareness about the open solicitation to highlight the fact that partnerships between governmental entities and nonprofit, nongovernmental victim service providers are a critical component of a successful application and successful project implementation.  These partnerships help to ensure that project implementation incorporates the needs and realities of victims in the community.  Leaders from organizations that seek ICJR funding must include a signed memorandum of understanding in their applications.

More information about ICJR funding is available through the OVW FY2021 Improving Criminal Justice Responses to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program (ICJR) solicitation or by contacting OVW at To apply for funding, please visit

Updated February 22, 2021